Truck applying titanium dioxide coating to roadway

Truck applying titanium dioxide coating for the Cool Roadways Pilot Project. This coating helps reduce heat absorption on our roadways.

Raleigh projects win 2021 Cleantech Innovation Awards

Each year, the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster recognizes projects and organizations driving cleantech innovation, creative deployment solutions, and workforce development in our region and throughout North Carolina. In 2021, four City of Raleigh projects were nominated and two projects were recognized with awards. 

Cool Pavement Reduces Heat & Pollution, Helps Keep Neighborhoods Cool on Hot Days

Raleigh’s Transportation Department was awarded the Cleantech Impact Award for Transportation for its Titanium Enhanced Pavements pilot project.  This project will reduce pollution, reduce the urban heat island effect, reduce water pollution and preserve pavements, saving taxpayer dollars.  This innovative approach involves adding titanium dioxide to the asphalt rejuvenation process to create “Cool Pavement.” At the completion of the pilot project, treated roads showed a 37% reduction in nitrogen oxides, which are a type of roadway contaminant, and an average Solar Reflective Index (SRI) of 38.2—a nearly 400% improvement over the untreated locations. More reflective surfaces don’t absorb heat, which can help keep neighborhoods cool on hot days. These results fostered a relationship between the City and the Global Cool Cities Alliance – Cool Roadways Program, which has created more pilot projects in other municipalities throughout the country. 

College Internships to Support Raleigh’s Community Climate Action Plan

The Partnership Raleigh Community Climate Internship Program was awarded the Cleantech Talent Development Award.  The Community Climate Intern Program is an opportunity for college students to engage with City departments in support of Raleigh’s Community Climate Action Plan. Starting with 2021's inaugural cohort, interns received technical training in fields such as engineering, civic engagement, data analysis, green and sustainable infrastructure, and equity evaluations. They learned about the City’s programs to promote climate equity and sustainability and saw firsthand the climate impacts specifically affecting the Raleigh community.  

Additionally, Raleigh’s Flood Early Warning System was a finalist for the Cleantech Impact in Local Government Award and Raleigh’s Community Climate Action Plan was nominated for Equity in Cleantech Award.

The City is honored to receive these awards and be recognized among our notable co-nominees from across North Carolina.  We’re proud of all the work our staff has done on climate action, sustainability and promoting clean technology in our city.

Sustainable Raleigh

Helping build a green future is a key focus for Raleigh, as indicated in the City’s Strategic Plan.




Megan Anderson